Columbia County Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Producing Child Pornography

Columbia County Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Producing Child Pornography

After pleading guilty to producing child sexual abuse images, a Columbia County man has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in federal prison.

Hector Salazar Torres, 30, of Grovetown, was sentenced to 325 months in prison. He pleaded guilty to producing child pornography, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

U.S. District Court Judge J. Randal Hall ordered Torres to pay $9,600 in restitution and assessment, register as a sex offender and serve 20 years of supervised release at the end of his prison sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.

“We applaud the diligence of our law enforcement partners in identifying Hector Torres and holding him accountable,” Steinberg said. “Our community’s most vulnerable citizens are safer when predators are behind bars.”

According to court documents and witness testimony, Torres’ cell phone was seized while Grovetown police were investigating a child sexual assault. The contents of the phone were examined by the FBI and dozens of images and videos of child sexual abuse, including a video of a young child, were identified. Investigators determined that Torres produced the video with his phone by matching an image from the video to a scar on his hand.

Torres also faces child sexual assault charges involving victims unrelated to the federal case.

“The sexual exploitation and abuse of children is an absolutely horrific crime,” said Matthew Ploskunak, supervisory special agent in charge of the FBI’s Atlanta office in Augusta. “Torres’ sentence will give him plenty of time to reflect on his unacceptable behavior, but most importantly, once he is in prison, he will be unable to harm any child again.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Grovetown Police Department, and prosecuted in the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney and Safe Childhood Project Coordinator Jason W. Blanchard.

Anyone with information about suspected child sexual exploitation can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678 or at https://report.cybertip.org/.